Friday, July 11, 2014

Toeing The Line

You tattooed your legs!!!  What the....????

During WWII, the war effort commandeered silk to make parachutes and powder bags.  Nylon was invented by DuPont in 1938 and nylon stockings became the preferred hose, due to the shrink proof and moth proof qualities.  As the war went on, nylon also was commandeered for parachutes, rope and tire production.  Nylon and silk stockings cost an arm and a leg, and became as rare as hens' teeth.  Cotton or rayon hose were a sorry replacement--they bagged at the knees, shrank and were "just not nice".  Many a young lady went dancing in cotton ankle sox and pumps.

Fashion sense demanded more.  

To imitate the look of the black seam of real silk stockings,  my Mum and her sisters took turns standing on the kitchen table to have a line drawn with eyebrow pencil up the length of their legs.  Can you imagine standing still during that ticklish operation?  Did they have to remember not to cross their legs to prevent smudging the lines, or did the line last overnight to make it to work the next day?  Did they hope it didn't rain on their big night out?  Meanwhile, returning servicemen smuggled home their "chutes" for their sisters or their fiancés to make wedding dresses.

These days, the retro look of silk stockings has been taken up a notch.

No, I did not tattoo my legs.  These are nylon stockings, and yes, they still cost an arm and a leg!  The black line starts at the toes and goes alllllllll the way up.

As we were getting ready for the wedding last weekend, my sister commented that it looked as if I had been tattooed.  Almost as soon as I got to the ceremony, people were shocked to see that this 65 year old grandmother had become an "ink junkie".  Too funny!  I didn't really get the reaction I was expecting, but then, I didn't go unnoticed either.

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